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Checking in on the Conn Smythe Favorites

Looking at three players among many that have made a great case for the Conn Smythe thus far.

Every year, the Conn Smythe Trophy is given out to the MVP of the NHL’s postseason. It almost always goes to a member of the Cup-winning team, but it doesn’t have to. In the trophy’s history, there have been five times where a member of the losing team in the Final has ended up with the award, most recently Jean-Sebastien Giguere in 2003. As we get closer to the end of the second round, everyone’s favorites for the 2024 Conn Smythe are coming into focus. Today, we’re looking at the three players with the best current odds to win it.

Jake Oettinger (+650 on DraftKings)

Dallas’ goaltender got off to a shaky start in the first game of the playoffs but has been great ever since. He currently holds a record of 7-4 with a 2.02 GAA and .923 SVP against two very offensively talented teams. The Stars’ Conn Smythe favorite has been especially good on the road, allowing only eight goals in five games away from home. If Dallas does get through to the Stanley Cup Finals, Oettinger will certainly be a big reason why. Guys like Wyatt Johnston, Miro Heiskanen and Jason Robertson will also be part of the conversation, but Oettinger’s consistency could give him the edge over any one specific skater. There’s really no overthinking this one. He’s a standout goalie for the current Stanley Cup favorites, and until Dallas gets into trouble, Jake Oettinger will remain near the top of the list of Conn Smythe favorites. 

Igor Shesterkin (+750 on DraftKings)

Another standout goaltender on a favorite to win it all. Statistically, Igor Shesterkin’s numbers are very similar to Jake Oettinger’s. He holds a 7-2 record, a .924 SVP, and a 2.33 GAA through nine games. Through three games against the Hurricanes, it looked like the Rangers were cruising to the Conference Finals on the back of some terrific performances from Igor. Now, though, things aren’t quite as certain. With the Rangers future looking a little shakier, Shesterkin’s Conn Smythe odds have naturally gone up slightly. However, given his terrific play, he’s still a Conn Smythe favorite and would easily be the pick for New York if they go on to win the Cup with him playing the same way. 

Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and Vincent Trocheck would also all be deserving winners, but like in Dallas, New York’s success starts with goaltending. 

Alexsander Barkov (+800 on DraftKings)

The current Conn Smythe favorite among skaters is Alex Barkov. Barkov has always been known as a great 200-foot player for the Panthers, but he still seems to have elevated his game for this postseason. In nine contests, he has five goals and eight assists while averaging 21 minutes of ice time per game – the most among Florida forwards. With the Panthers looking as dangerous as any team left in the postseason, Barkov certainly deserves to be in the middle of the Conn Smythe conversation. Matt Tkachuk, Sam Reinhart and Sergei Bobrovsky would definitely join him in that conversation if Florida was to go on and win, but given his play recently, it makes sense that Barkov sits at +800. If Florida manages to close out Boston on Tuesday night, look for his odds to get even lower.

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